As long as requests keep rolling in, I will continue new ten on ten features. This week I will highlight the recording career of the Cumberland Boys/Quartet. The Cumberland Boys started as the Opryland Gospel Quartet and released their first album as the Opryland Gospel Quartet in 1981.
The group changed their name circa 1982 to the Cumberland Boys and remained the resident singing group at Opryland USA in Nashville TN until the park’s closing in the 1990’s. In 2000, the group made one more name change to the Cumberland Quartet.
- New Ship Sailing (2000)
- Worth Every Mile (2002)
- New Horizons (1993)
- A Matter Of The Heart (1989)
- Presenting Opryland’s Gospel Quartet (1982)
- The Opryland Gospel Quartet In Concert (1981)
- Nothing But Love (1995)
- I Owe It All To Jesus (1984)
- Opryland’s Gospel Quartet (1983)
- Canada Live (1997)
- The pinnacle in the Cumberland Boys/Quartet discography came when the group changed their name to the Cumberland Quartet. The 2000 album, New Ship Sailing, ranks #1 among the group’s best albums.
- This album is one of the best albums released in Southern Gospel music in the year 2000. This is another album that every Southern Gospel collector should own. Highlights include “Because He Stayed”, “Go Tell The People”, “The Gospel”, “I Wanna Feel Like I Felt”, “New Ship Sailing” and “Waiting On The Water”.
- The Cumberland Quartet configuration also has the #2 album in the group’s discography; the 2002 recording Worth Every Mile. This album gave the Southern Gospel audience their first listen to bass singer Ian Owens (who would go on to the Imperials, Signature Sound Qt and Soul’d Out Qt).
- “For Your Love Alone”, “I Am Because He Is”, “It’ll Be Worth Every Mile Of The Trip”, “Labor Of Love”, “Mine For The Asking”, “My Treasure, My Crown” and “Stranger Things Have Happened” all exemplify the best of Worth Every Mile.
- The remaining eight albums in the top ten were all released as the Cumberland Boys. The top Cumberland Boys recording is the 1993 album New Horizons (ranked 3rd). It is no surprise during this time period, the group carried a country sound with their Southern Gospel considering they were the resident group at Opryland USA.
- The group’s first four albums all made the top ten. All four albums were released by Opryland USA and were released between the years 1981 and 1984.
- The highest ranked of those (at #5) is the 1982 album, Presenting Opryland’s Gospel Quartet. Tenor Depp Britt and bass singer Steve Goforth were original members of the group. Depp Britt would be the only member to remain with the group for the entirety of the group’s career.
- The most noted vocal line-up of the group’s career was that of Britt (tenor), brother Bill Britt (lead), Jim Worthing (baritone) and Steve Goforth (bass). This vocal line-up remained together for ten years between the years of 1988 and 1997.
- To my knowledge, the Cumberland Boys/Quartet are the only Southern Gospel artist to record an entire live album in Canada. The 1997, Canada Live, album ranks #10 among the group’s ten best.
- In addition to the songs already mentioned, the Cumberland Boys/Quartet introduced the following songs to the Southern Gospel listening audience: “A Matter Of The Heart”, “I Call Him Friend”, “I Cast My Bread Upon The Water”, “I’ll Keep On Leaning”, “I’m Gonna Walk Right Through It”, “That’s Pretty Amazing” and “Today I Might Be Going Home”.
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